Democratic capitalism

Democratic capitalism, also known as capitalist democracy, is a political, economic, and social ideology that involves the combination of a liberal democratic political system with a capitalist economic system. It is based on a tripartite arrangement of a private sector-driven market economy based predominantly on a liberal democratic policy, economic incentives through free markets, fiscal responsibility, and a liberal moral-cultural system which encourages pluralism.[1][2] This ideology supports a capitalist economy subject to control by a democratic political system that is supported by the majority. It stands in contrast to corporatism by limiting the influence of special interest groups, including corporate lobbyists, on politics.

It is argued that the coexistence of modern capitalism and democracy was the result of the creation of the modern welfare state in the post-war period, which enabled a relatively stable political atmosphere and widespread support for capitalism. This period of history is often referred to as the "Golden Age of Capitalism".[3]


The ideology of "democratic capitalism" has been in existence since medieval times. It is based firmly on the principles of liberalism and Whig historiography, which include liberty and equality. Some of its most prominent promoters were the Founding Fathers of the United States and subsequent Jeffersonians.[4]